As many athletes can attest, it’s an honor to be featured on the cover of any game tied to the sport they play. One of the biggest annual sports titles that features a new athlete with every installment is Electronic Arts’ NHL series, and this year NHL 16 was set to be the first ever formal entry that featured two hockey all-stars on the cover in the form of the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
Now it seems that the initial dual superstar announcement won’t end up coming to fruition, as the power forward Patrick Kane will now be removed from the NHL 16 cover. This news comes in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Kane, leaving Chicago Captain Jonathan Toews to represent his 2015 Stanley Cup winning team by himself.
Electronic Arts took to the official Twitter account for its NHL series to confirm the news, sending out an image with a brief statement that confirmed the removal of Kane from the cover – as well as any and all promotional events for the forthcoming hockey title. Suffice to say, Kane has quickly and somewhat predictably been dumped by the company.
Since Kane is no longer being consider as a candidate, many fans will probably be wondering what Toews will look like on the cover of NHL 16. Fortunately, EA Sports was quick to give fans a glimpse at just that, featuring the player hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head sans his teammate Patrick Kane. Still, it’s a sight that fans of the Blackhawks are sure to appreciate amidst an investigation into the alleged actions of of their team’s popular scorer.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time EA Sports’ NHL series has had to change cover athletes. Back in 2004, Electronic Arts decided to remove Dany Heatley as its poster boy after the former Atlanta Thrashers’ forward lost control of his Ferrari and crashed – leading to the death of his teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley was replaced by the Avalanche’s Joe Sakic after that incident, leading to the Colorado Captain being placed on the cover of NHL 04.
Despite the controversy surrounding the former cover athlete, it seems that NHL fans still have a lot to look forward to with this year’s video game entry. Aside from the now shuttered beta that gave players access to the game prior to its September launch, the final product will return many of the game modes that were cut from NHL 15. Suffice to say, the quality of the game shouldn’t suffer despite this cover issue.
NHL 16 is set to arrive for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 15, 2015.
Source: EA Sports NHL – Twitter